MAF Musings 2
I’ve been digging in to the book but I haven’t gotten far. Really, I’ve just gotten to the test portion so pretty much the beginning. It has given me so much to think about though.
Here’s the thing. He says to lower your training if you are stressed. I am so analytical and detail oriented that I can become stressed just by figuring out if I need to lower my training! I am running 3 days a week and wish I was running more BUT I am doing BBG 3 days a week and I realize I need to make concessions for that. So I guess I don’t think I need to lower it more, but I do recognize that I cannot add more in.
Another thing stressing me out is my MAF heart rate. I chose to do 180 – my age with no modifier. The more I think about it, I think maybe that is too high. He says people tend to choose too high. When I first figured it out I went back and forth between dropping 5 more points (for allergies and random illnesses). He advises you go with the lowest if you are unsure. So I think I will make my HR goal 145 instead of 150. He says there is no harm in choosing the wrong number if you choose a little low. Ideallly you will be right on the money so that you can train at the highest possible range, but going over is bad. So being unsure, I could be going over for my entire workout and not knowing it.
I don’t feel like I’m making progress. That isn’t based on anything but gut feeling. I can list a bajillion reasons this may be: training with too high a HR, BBG (which is anaerobic no matter how slow according to the book), diet, personal stuff going on (stress), hormonal issues (hello thyroid), medications (hello thyroid again). Some of these can be fixed and some cannot. Some I choose not to.
- training with too high a HR – as mentioned above, I think I may be doing this. I will lower it 5 points and give it a shot
- BBG – I don’t want to quit midway. I am on week 5. I think I will finish out the cycle (which takes us to February) and then find something to do afterwards. I understand it may be hurting my aerobic improvement, however I do not understand what I can do instead. I’m sure the book will get there. I recognize that strength training is important, but it feels like (so far) he’s saying not to do any! But he doesn’t straight up say “don’t strength train.” So I’m assuming there is more to be addressed later in the book. I will choose not to adjust this right now, but choose not to continue with BBG after this round.
- Diet – tricky one here. Christmas is coming up. I want to bake and enjoy the holiday. I’m stressed out from so many other things that I’m not sure it is a good time for me to make big diet changes, even if it would be beneficial to my body. What is the trade off? Increased stress but better quality meals, or lower quality meals but not meal induced stress? I do plan to try the 10 day test after Christmas but depending on below this may have to wait until February.
- Personal stuff – I’m not going to go in to detail here. There *may* be big changes going on in my life. I should know yes/no in the next week or so. After that, either life will return to status quo (which is honestly quite appealing), or life will get even more hectic. If things get even crazier, they should level out around February. There’s nothing to be done for this. I am trying to put it in God’s hands and be prepared to accept either possibility. I am trying to do this with sanity and calm, but there is a lot of work and a lot of requirements of me. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect my stress level to drop considerably in the immediate future.
- A second point on this one. If this happens and I survive (heh) until February, I should be in a really good place as far as my home responsibilities go. That should translate nicely to our new, changed, existence and result in a decrease from even my “normal” stress levels with how things are now. It’s just a matter of surviving, right?
- Hormones and medications go together – if I don’t take the meds I lose my hair so they stay. Perhaps in improving my diet I can improve my overall health (that’s the whole point of this book, yea?) and no longer need to take these medications but until then… I also can’t take off my prenatal because I am still nursing so these I cannot or choose not to change.
So that’s where I sit. The things I can change are diet and exercise. I choose not to make many changes so really I’m just going to lower my training HR.
It’s hard to place my finger on why I think I’m not progressing. The thing is that my first test was a little bit of a dud. I felt good with it – a little bummed I was so slow, but confident that I had done well, but then my next run (a hilly out and back as compared to my test run on a flat quarter mile loop a few days after) was much faster. What? That makes no sense. So I consider it a bit of a wash. That’s actually a good thing because I can pretend in my head that I haven’t actually done a test yet. lol.
I’ve been struggling the latter part of my week day runs lately. I feel great going out but my HR struggles at the end. You can see it on my graphs as well. I’m decently steady going out, and then my pace is up and down as I run – walk – run – walk – run – walk and try to keep my HR low. I have this personal problem (does anyone else do this?) where I don’t really remember anything before. I’m not talking about long term memory loss, I do remember the past, but I don’t remember a few weeks ago. Really, I would say Thanksgiving is the cut off right now. I got sick the week before thanksgiving (Thursday/Friday ish) and ran that 5k sick. Then I was really sick Monday/Tuesday and walked with a friend. Then by Thursday I was feeling better and tried to run but my HR spiked and I came home. I didn’t run again until Monday. I haven’t ran on the weekend since then so only my Mon/Weds stroller runs. Every one of them (I think) I have had this problem. It’s like I’m great to a point and then my heart just can’t handle it any more. Is this because I’m still recovering from illness? How long does that take anyway? It was just a head cold. I suppose I should look at older runs and see what it was like before then.
I’m to the point where I understand my HR shows so much about my body (more than how fast I can go, and into how healthy I am) but I’m not knowledgeable (yet) enough to diagnose it. But I’m certain it means something. (See above).
So February. The holidays will be over, the personal stress will be passed (or nearly), the kids will be back in school, and I should be ready to tackle this again. I plan on doing a new MAF test, doing whatever strength workout is not going to hurt me, and really tackling this as a means of getting healthy. I will try the 10 day dietary test. I will go all out to try to get better healthy and aerobically. I will do what I can until then, but that will be my big kicking off point. I hate that it is so far off, but I think it is unreasonable to decide to do it before then with everything else going on.
These posts are always so rambling. I find myself with so many words and my husband gets sick of hearing it. I process by speaking though. If anyone is actually reading this (I don’t believe anyone is), I would appreciate prayers as our family makes transitions. Thank you.